Linking the International Space Station with Instagram

Gallery installation and website

Studio project



Problem

How do you create a gallery installation that complements the photography of Giles Duley whose powerful photography shows the lives of those affected by disasters and conflicts across the world?

Solution

Collaborating with Simon Pride and humanitarian photographer Giles Duley (and having originally created the promotional material for the exhibition itself) we were aware of Giles' description of One Second of Light, "a collection of photographs that let us glimpse into the lives of others". This led us to identify Instagram, with 300 million users uploading 21.9 billion photographs every year, as a platform that also lets us glimpse into the eyes of others.

Working closely with a team of developers, we created a projected installation that tracks the location of the International Space Station (ISS) over Earth. Using a combination of NASA data feeds and Instagram's open API, the projection then displays Instagram images from the ISS' relative location on Earth as they are posted live. 

Impact

The final installation — 21,900,000,000 and Counting – A Social Media Camera Obscura — was well received by visitors to the exhibition, AUB and Giles Duley. As a result, there are plans to tour the country alongside Giles' upcoming exhibitions, raising awareness of the collaboration with Arts University Bournemouth and complementing Giles' work with a modern take on the camera obscura.

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